2012 Arizona Fall League Players to Watch Part Two
Remember, this is not a "best prospect" list, but rather a look at guys who are particularly interesting for one reason or another.
PEORIA JAVELINAS (Mariners, Padres, Phillies, Twins, Reds)
Kyle Gibson, RHP, Twins: Age 24, recovering from Tommy John surgery, posted a 33/6 K/BB in 28 innings between three levels this summer. Looks back to normal, but needs to build his stamina back up. A strong AFL could put him in contention for the rotation next spring.
Billy Hamilton, INF-OF, Reds: Age 22, fastest man baseball, hit .311/.410/.420 between High-A and Double-A with 155 stolen bases, setting an all-time minor league record. Questions persist about his defense and if he'll show sufficient pop at higher levels, so all eyes will be on him.
Rymer Liriano, OF, Padres: Age 21, hit .298/.360/.443 in 74 games in High-A but .251/.335/.377 in 53 games in Double-A. Tools hound who attracts scouts but has a spotty performance record, at his age he could develop suddenly, steadily, or not at all.
Stefen Romero, INF, Mariners: Age 23, hit .357/.391/.581 in High-A and kept it going with a .347/.392/.620 mark in Double-A, along with steady defense at second base. Catcher Mike Zunino will get more attention, but Romero will be extremely interesting to watch given his superb track record but lack of scouting enthusiasm.
Tommy Joseph, C, Phillies: Age 21, hit .257/.317/.399 with 11 homers in 108 games in Double-A, coming over to Phillies from Giants in Hunter Pence deal. Impressive defender and has considerable power potential that he has not fully tapped.
OTHER: Cody Asche, 3B, Phillies; Zach Collier, OF, Phillies; Robbie Erlin, LHP, Padres; Nick Franklin, INF, Mariners; Didi Gregorius, SS, Reds; Mike Zunino, C, Mariners.
SALT RIVER RAFTERS (Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Nationals, Rockies, White Sox)
Matt Davidson, 3B, Diamondbacks: Age 21, hit .261/.367/.469 with 23 homers, 69 walks, 126 strikeouts in 486 at-bats in Double-A. Has made strides with the glove and has proven to be a consistent source of power.
Corey Dickerson, OF, Rockies: Age 23, defied suspicious scouts with .338/.396/.583 line in 60 games in High-A and .274/.322/.504 line in 67 games in Double-A, combining for 22 homers and 40 doubles. Still panned for average tools but he keeps producing.
Jake Marisnick, OF, Blue Jays: Age 21, hit .263/.349/.451 in 65 games in High-A but just .233/.286/.336 in 55 games in Double-A. Scouts favor his athleticism, speed, and defense, but his hitting is inconsistent and he needs more polish.
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals: Age 22, suffered through another rash of injuries, hitting just .233 in 21 games but with a .363 OBP and .489 SLG at three levels. Needs healthy at-bats more than anything to shake off the rust and demonstrate the skills he showed at Rice University.
Trayce Thompson, OF, White Sox: Age 21, hit .253/.328/.482 with 25 homers, 55 walks, 166 strikeouts, 21 steals in 136 games split between three levels, finishing year in Triple-A. Excellent power/speed potential and a fine glove, but has to prove that contact issues won't cripple his hitting.
OTHERS: Brian Goodwin, OF, Nationals; Chris Owings, SS, Diamondbacks; Carlos Sanchez, INF, White Sox; Matt Skole, 1B, Nationals; John Stilson, RHP, Blue Jays.
SURPRISE SAGUAROS (Cardinals, Mets, Rangers, Red Sox, Royals)
Bryce Brentz, OF, Red Sox: Age 23, hit .296/.355/.478 with 17 homers, 130 strikeouts in 456 games in Double-A. Power stands out along with a strong throwing arm, but needs to show he'll make enough contact.
Brian Fletcher, OF, Royals: Age 23, hit .289/.353/.411 in 67 games in High-A then .256/.318/.433 in 65 games in Double-A. Scouts aren't wild about his unconventional approach and he strikes out a lot, but he is also the kind of rip-it hitter who thrives in the AFL environment.
Cesar Puello, OF, Mets: Age 21, hit .260/.328/.423 with 19 steals in 21 attempts in 66 games in High-A. Quite toolsy but still learning to use it, and like many AFL players this year he's got strike zone troubles that could hold him back, drawing just seven walks against 58 Ks in 227 at-bats this year.
Luis Sardinas, INF, Rangers: Only 19, tends to get lost in the Jurickson Profar shuttle, but an intriguing prospect in his own right, hit .291/.346/.356 with 32 steals in 374 at-bats in Low-A. Needs to get stronger but speed stands out along with good fielding tools.
Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals: Age 22, hit .287/.348/.405 with 21 steals, 44 walks, 74 strikeouts in 523 at-bats in Double-A. Steady and reliable with the glove, shows gap power, runs well, and is praised for his makeup.
OTHERS: Hanser Alberto, INF, Rangers; Seth Blair, RHP, Cardinals; Orlando Calixte, SS, Royals; Darrell Ceciliani, OF, Mets; Kellin Deglan, C, Rangers.